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Category : Mountains

No. 38 Tsusiat Falls

West Coast Trail – Tsusiat Falls

No.38 Buy Now Tsusiat Falls
The Other Day

Imagine tramping through forest, bogs and loose sandy beaches for a day, packs feeling heavy, the legs are weary and suddenly Tsusiat Falls is in front of your eyes.  The sheer energy and force of this powerful waterfall was enough to energize the legs and motivate the mind. Well, sort of.  I think it was more the ice-cold “waterfall shower” that woke me up.  It was still a sight to behold.

We were promised we would be soaked on the West Coast trail.  The forecast appeared quite positive, but you never quite know on the coast.  We were two days in and the weather was nothing short of glorious.

Tsusiat Falls sat at the 25 km mark of our trek.  It was a place to rest and prepare for an epic 18 km hike the next day.  I was excited, it was picturesque, the weather was good and I was carting 15 lbs of camera gear for 75 kms.  It was game time.

I got busy, playing with settings, framing Tsusiat Falls, watching the sunset. Naturally, things didn’t go to plan.  I snapped a couple of shots, as you can see below, then disaster struck.  A disaster of my own making there is no doubt about that.  I suppose I could blame the moon but it won’t do much good.  I forgot about the rising tide and the fact that they actually continue to do just that, rise.

No.39 Tsusiat_Falls_RiverNo.39 Buy Now Tsusiat Falls runs into the Pacific Ocean

Pay Attention

So, there I was shooting away.  The sun had only moments left with us on this day.  Suddenly, I noticed some movement out the corner of my eye.  I realized that it was a widespread sheet of water coming straight for me, my camera and my “not fully zipped” camera bag.  Grabbing the tripod in one hand, with the other I snatched my bag.  I slipped, fell knees into the water, holding my camera high.  The bag slipped from my grasped and the water immersed it.  Only for a second, I clasped the bag, yanked it out of the water and crossed my fingers.  There may have been some cursing.

I raced back to camp, hesitantly opened the bag for a look and sighed with relief.  Items were wet, but the new, expensive lens only had a droplet or two.  Ryan saved the day.  He had brought extra paper towel and after some extensive drying everything seemed relatively unharmed.  That ended the shooting for the night.  I wanted to let things dry properly before getting back into it.

It was a magical evening as well.  The full moon was beaming down and scattered clouds made for a surreal, (not photographed) experience.

No.40 Sitka Trees SunsetNo.40 Buy Now The sun sets behind these enchanting trees

Oh well, we’ll try again tomorrow.

Until then,

Jimmy

West Coast Trail – Bamfield to Port Renfrew

No.37 Buy Now Darling River on the West Coast Trail
The Other Day

I am back, from both the West Coast Trail and a blogging hiatus.  We have also begun our travels, well the West Coast Trail really kicked them off.  Presently we are in a hotel in Oslo, Norway.  More to come on Norway and our European adventures soon.  First things first, the West Coast Trail.

It sure was one heck of a trip.  There is a lot to mention so I will break it up over a couple of posts.  Today, I’ll start with the details.  There was seven of us who embarked on the hike (in our group that is, we joined about 6 million other hikers…apparently that’s early season).  We decided to do the trek from north to south.

We stayed a night in these tiny little shoeboxes in Port Renfrew.  They were about as basic as it gets, but when you are about to sleep on a thin, light air-mattress for 6 nights it’s all you need really.  I won’t bore you with the details but I was sick that day and night.  I hadn’t eaten in about 4 days, I was feeling weak and thoughts crossed my mind of pulling out of the trek.  Fortunately, I woke up on Sunday morning ready and raring to go.

We caught a bus from the southern trail-head to Bamfield at the northern end.  This bus was…well…shit.  No suspension, heat cranked, stuffy and to add to that we got a bumpy, windy road.  Most of the passengers did not feel terrific.  The driver also insisted on driving on the wrong side of the road at all times.  This included around blind corners and blind crests.  The driver gave zero f$%^s!  We survived.

Off the bus we got, and off to the trail we went.  The photo above is from the campsite on day 1.  There should be more photos, but equipment failures and temper tantrums ensured that was not the case.  Stay tuned for more camera debacles.  We camped at Darling river, a campsite 14kms from the trail-head.  It was gorgeous, the sun was out and we were blessed with an amazing sunset.

It was a relatively uneventful first 14kms.  Ben acquired his first blister at kilometre two, but other than that it was mellow.  Day 2 was just around the corner.

Until next time,

Jimmy.

 

Squamish Estuary

No.34 Buy Now A Golden Squamish Estuary
The Other Day

We have had so much rain in Sea to Sky Country lately that when the sun began to poke through I had to rush down to the Squamish Estuary.  This place is amazing. It offers a completely different view of the Squamish landscape.  From this spot, all of the famous landmarks are in sight.  Can you see Shannon Falls in the distance? However, the highway is not visible making this feel like a wild and remote area even with Squamish downtown just over to our left.  When the tide is low and the rivers down the mudflats of the estuary almost feel like an apocalyptic wasteland.  When the water is high it shimmers golden (or whatever colour the sky radiates).

Is it possible to tire of a scene like this? I don’t think it is. As a result, Squamish continues to amaze me. Now I just need to get back here on a dark, new moon night to see what I can see.  Looking up, of course, the forest will be dark, eerie and full of the noises of night.

Until next time,
Jimmy
(Jta85 Photography)

No.35 Buy Now The Fog Begins to Rise at the Squamish Estuary

No.36 Buy Now Squamish Estuary Glows Pink & Purple

Fissile Mountain in Whistler’s back country.

No.32 Buy Now Fissile Mountain watches over the valley
The Other Day

Fissile Mountain

Whilst waiting for patrol sweep on Blackcomb a couple of days ago, the view of Fissile Mountain was breathtaking.  It has been an amazing winter at Whistler Blackcomb this year, as a result, it really has been the winter that keeps on giving.  The snow continues to fall, the skiing continues to be epic.  Spring occasionally pokes through for a day as if to tease us.  As much as I love snow, powder and face shots while skiing, I am ready for some sunshine and spring skiing.  On Monday we received such a tease.  Without a doubt, it was a gorgeous sunny day.  The skiing was amazing and the weather delightful.  As the clouds began to roll in, the shadows on the surrounding mountains were incredible.  This included Fissile Mountain, an epic peak a few ridges over from Whistler Mountain.

We are now back into the midst of yet another storm.

I guess I’ll just have to wait for more of this!

No.33 Buy Now Fissile Mountain

Until next time,
Jimmy

(Jta85 Photography)

Mornings Make A Moody Blackcomb Mountain

No.30 Moody Blackcomb

No.30 Buy Now Mornings from a moody Blackcomb Mountain
Yesterday

Without a doubt, one of my favourite things about ski patroling is early mornings that make for a moody Blackcomb.  As the sun rises and the golden light begins to hit the slopes it is always a dramatic and breathtaking sight.  It doesn’t seem to matter if the sky is void of clouds or wild storms are rolling in.  In previous posts, I have mentioned (and hopefully demonstrated) the beautiful clear sky mornings witnessed as the sun first touches the earth.  Simply add a few rolling clouds and fast moving skies to the mix and suddenly it is a different world.  Shadows streaking down the slopes, glacial canvas’ dabbed gold and peaks poking through paint-worthy scene.

It is this real-life artwork that makes it easier (if only slightly) to get out of bed before 6am each day.

Until next time,

Jimmy

(Jta85 Photography)

Another Gorgeous Whistler Blackcomb Sunset

No. 29 Whistler Blackcomb Sunset

No.29 Buy Now A sunset from Whistler Blackcomb never fails to impress
Yesterday

Another day,  another dollar, another priceless Whistler Blackcomb sunset.

Without a cloud in the sky, the mountains on the horizon are engulfed by an indescribable sheet of pink and purple.    Like a stepping stone towards the crystal clear velvet sky of night, the transition is smooth and tranquil.  I could be gazing at a piece of art, a pastel coloured canvas.

It’s yet another unique and breathtaking finish to the day that was on Whistler Blackcomb.  It’s yet another pinch to ensure that this is, in fact, reality.

Until next time,

Jimmy

(Jta85 Photography)

A Full Moon sets at Whistler Blackcomb

No.28 Whistler Blackcomb Full Moon

No.28 Buy Now A breathtaking full moon setting from Whistler Blackcomb
The Other Day

I truly thought this place could not surprise me anymore. And then, one morning I head up Solar Chair to work and setting across the valley is an incredible full moon.  The sky had the most amazing shades of blue, pink and purple.  As we, the patrollers, commenced our day with the sun, the moon and the groomers completed their night.  It was such a surreal experience, I couldn’t believe that what I was looking at was real.  I took my camera out of my bag and for several moments I forgot that the temperature was far below zero.   It’s moments like these that help me wake up at ridiculous o’clock and head to work every day.

Watching the sun rise and set each day on top of Whistler Blackcomb is always an unforgettable experience.  Add a setting full moon, a well-timed snow cat and breathtaking hues.  And what do you get?  One hell of a view.

Until next time,

Jimmy

Whistler Winter Sunsets are Indescribable

No.27 Whistler Winter Sunset

No.27 Buy Now A breathtaking sunset over Whistler Blackcomb and the Black Tusk, Whistler, BC
The Other Day

Whistler Winter

It’s truly incredible how the time flies.  It seems like only yesterday I was in Australia photographing the milky way and the amazing Aussie night skies.  Although the milky way season is over, a new season as begun;  a season full of views and skies just as epic.  A Whistler winter is hard to beat.  So far, this year it has been one of the best starts to a winter season that I can remember.  Deep powder, frozen lakes and indescribable sunsets are just some of the treats we have been blessed with.  One of the biggest perks of my job with Whistler Blackcomb is standing on top of the resort watching the sun rise and the sun set.  Whistler winter 2016/2017 has not disappointed thus far.

I have been on a bit of a hiatus from posting on this forum however over the next few days until the new year I will be sure to catch you up on the start to my winter.  This will include snorkel deep powder days, -24°C overnight cabin stays and a full moon/sunrise combo.  Stay tuned, it will be worth it.

Until next time,

Jimmy

Nexen Beach Squamish

No.26 Buy Now A calm overcast 'sunset' at Nexen Beach Squamish, BC

No.26 Buy Now A calm overcast ‘sunset’ at Nexen Beach, Squamish, BC
The Other Day

It was hard to pull myself off the couch and head down to Nexen Beach Squamish for this gloomy evening.  However, as soon as I was out the door and on my way there I was pretty stoked.  It always seems to be the way when we are in a weather system like we are right now.  The difficulty is finding the motivation to move.  Once on the move, though, I am rarely disappointed.  I didn’t know what to expect and I was running a bit late for the light so I had to rush to get this image.  In the end, I am fairly happy with it.  The biggest lesson I learnt was “get outside”.

What do you think?

Let me know.

Until next time,

Jimmy

Squamish Rain

Learn something new during Squamish Rain

No. 24 Buy Now The stars spiral over Gandalf Mountain in British Columbia
The Other Day

Rain, rain and more Squamish rain.  Unfortunately, that is what we have had in Squamish for the past few weeks.  The good news is that it has mostly been snow in the high alpine.  It is too early to say but hopefully it is a good sign for the winter season to come.  After awhile the rain can start to give one a cabin fever type complex.  However, it is a great opportunity to read a book, watch a show on Netflix or teach yourself something new.  After awhile, that’s exactly what I did.  I attempted a new style of star trail editing.

What do you think?

Until next time,

Jimmy